st. thomas

It takes a little over an hour to hike the moderately challenging Magens Bay Discovery Nature Trail, a 2.4-mile trek through multiple ecosystems, including a tropical forest and a mangrove thicket. Start your journey at the Magens Bay Road/Canaan trailhead and hike down the slope. You’ll land at the white-sand Magens Bay Beach, consistently voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, upon reaching the lower trailhead. 

The mile-long Santa Maria Beach Path leads down to the secluded Santa Maria Beach, where you can wade into the turquoise waters and snorkel to your heart’s content. Perfect for families, this is an easy trail you can easily hike in sandals and a swimsuit. Note that you will need to bring your own snorkel equipment, as there are no gear rentals available on the peaceful beach. 

Stroll or jog the Charlotte Amalie Harbor Trail, which starts outside the Virgin Islands Legislature Building and runs along the scenic harbor to the foot of Careen Hill. The 2.5-mile hike is easy, with a paved trail perfect for strollers or wheelchairs. Take a break and hydrate at one of the many cafes along the harborside.  

st. croix

First lit in 1915 under the Danish government, the historic Hams Bluff Lighthouse sits on a scenic bluff 360 feet above sea level, where sweeping views of the North Shore and West End of St. Croix await. Though the Hams Bluff Light Trail is only .8 miles long, it’s a steep hike up to the bluff, making this a trail for seasoned hikers. Once you reach the lighthouse, the views will take your breath away, and you can count on cooling trade winds.  

The Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve is an unspoiled haven where hundreds of species, including endangered sea turtles, have found a safe home. Hike the 3.6-mile out-and-back Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve Trail, which winds through 300 protected acres, to experience St. Croix’s stunning natural beauty. The trail is moderately challenging and popular among hikers, runners and walkers. 

On the west end of St. Croix’s beautiful North Shore, the Annaly Bay tide pools are a series of naturally formed pools teeming with vibrant marine life. To reach the magical tide pools, hike the moderately challenging 3.9-mile Carambola Trumbull Trail, which will lead you through a portion of the island’s rainforest down to the sea. The tide pools reach depths of about 4-5 feet, so you can cool off with a swim inside the enchanting pools. 

st. john

The challenging, 1.2-mile Bordeaux Mountain Trail starts with a trailhead situated 1,300 feet above sea level atop St. John’s highest peak, then traverses through a tropical forest to a tranquil bay where you can walk among the ruins of an 18th-century rum distillery. This is one of the best hikes on St. John for catching the splendid island sunrise or sunset.

Hike through the ruins of a former sugar plantation, then through a forest of bay rum and palm trees, on the easy Cinnamon Bay Nature Loop and Accessible Trail. The first .09 miles of the Cinnamon Nature loop is accessible via a wheelchair and stroller-friendly boardwalk that loops through the ruins, while the remaining portion of the trail is moderately sloped with occasional rocks to navigate. See if you can spot the above-ground tombs of the former plantation owner’s wife and children in the shady grove of bay rum trees above the plantation.   

It takes about 90 minutes to hike the moderately challenging, 2-mile out-and-back Salt Pond Bay and Ram Head trails. Expect cool breezes and amazing views as you hike the sandy north shore of Salt Pond Beach and a segment of the island’s eastern shoreline before climbing up a rocky slope dotted with Turk’s Cap Cactus — barrel-shaped plants topped with vibrant red flowers. 

Check out more USVI outdoor adventures.

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